What Alternative can be used instead of Radiation Therapy?

Posted by edaw @edaw, Jun 3 11:35pm

What success rate, if known of cancer recurrence within 5 years of a mastectomy of HER2 positive breast cancer with sentinel lymphnode an one auxiliary node positive for cancer, if there were an alternative used beside Radiation Therapy. Or if there is an alternative that will not effect the Heart and Lungs. Please let me as soon as possible!

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Breast Cancer Support Group.

Check out Clinical Trial TAILOR RT. As I qualified for this trial from a Breast Cancer profile ( ER, PR +, HER2-, 2 sentinel node +) following unilateral mastectomy… I opted out of radiation protocol. One arm of trial is 5 years AROMATASE INHIBITOR only, one arm is 5 years AI plus Standard Protocol Radiation. The trial is in Phase III right now. ONCOTYPE must be under 25.

Participants are randomly assigned to one of the trial arms. I was ultimately excluded for a reason NOT related to my BC profile. But knowing I could have been assigned to a non radiation arm gave me information I used to opt out of radiation. For Phase III trials it’s my understanding is they pretty much are expecting each arm to be “non inferior” as they call it.

See if you can learn anything from this trial that may be relevant to your situation.

I’m 16 mos. Out of surgery, get mammo ( on left) and MRI ( both) annually alternating 6 mos . I’m taking AI daily and have mild and manageable joint discomfort which I mitigate by walking and yoga. My DEXA was not affected at one year on AI.

Best wishes in making these hard decisions. I GET IT! If you are comfortable sharing, please let me know what you learn.

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If you use proton radiation, there is no damage to heart, lungs or any other part of the body. Google it! There are now many proton centers throughout the country. I had 16 treatments after a mastectomy and 6 nodes removed (3 positive). My surgeon and I agreed to leave the remaining lymph nodes alone if I would agree to be treated by proton radiation (Mayo Clinic in MN). I never had lymphedema as a result!!! I am 83+ and doing very well. Tamoxifen somewhat nasty but I have adjusted to it pretty well. Surgery/radiation in 4-5/21. Onco-type DX score was 6. Good luck and go Proton!!!

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@dick61

If you use proton radiation, there is no damage to heart, lungs or any other part of the body. Google it! There are now many proton centers throughout the country. I had 16 treatments after a mastectomy and 6 nodes removed (3 positive). My surgeon and I agreed to leave the remaining lymph nodes alone if I would agree to be treated by proton radiation (Mayo Clinic in MN). I never had lymphedema as a result!!! I am 83+ and doing very well. Tamoxifen somewhat nasty but I have adjusted to it pretty well. Surgery/radiation in 4-5/21. Onco-type DX score was 6. Good luck and go Proton!!!

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Agree, although I chose no radiation proton or otherwise I do believe Proton is the only choice as far as radiation that is nearly 100% safe and effective. More costly and some insurance does not cover it and there is the logistics of getting to a Proton Center if you are not near one. But if I had lymph node involvement I would be running to the proton center!

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@dick61

If you use proton radiation, there is no damage to heart, lungs or any other part of the body. Google it! There are now many proton centers throughout the country. I had 16 treatments after a mastectomy and 6 nodes removed (3 positive). My surgeon and I agreed to leave the remaining lymph nodes alone if I would agree to be treated by proton radiation (Mayo Clinic in MN). I never had lymphedema as a result!!! I am 83+ and doing very well. Tamoxifen somewhat nasty but I have adjusted to it pretty well. Surgery/radiation in 4-5/21. Onco-type DX score was 6. Good luck and go Proton!!!

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Any worry about osteoporosis?
Jas

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I was HERpositive, 2 lymphnodes removed and a lumpectormy plus chemo. I had 6 weeks of regular radiation every day. It ended about a year and a half ago. I had a port which was removed after the radiation.
I started at age 79. I had no problems with the radiation and am in great health now according to my latest check up. My blood pressure stays at around 120/65. No heart problems are seen.

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@sessioja

Any worry about osteoporosis?
Jas

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Not a bit. Proton radiation hits only the target cells. I was told that, during radiation, I might feel some swallowing issues, but I didn't!! After 16 treatments, I had a bad sunburn but, with the use of Vanicream, all was gone in 5 weeks. No other problems. Google will give you a list of all proton radiation centers in US. Of course, I am partial to the MN Mayo Clinic.

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@edaw, because you expressed concern about treatment damage to the heart and lungs, I thought you might like to know about cardio-oncology. Large cancer centers often have a cardio-oncology specialist or department.

Mayo Clinic offers a program to address heart problems associated with cancer treatment called cardio-oncology or for people who have a pre-existing heart condition when diagnosed with cancer. The Cardio-Oncology Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/cardio-oncology-clinic/overview/ovc-20442193) evaluates people prior to cancer treatment and patients who have experienced side effects due their treatment, and can help evaluate treatment when you have both cancer and heart conditions.

It might be worth inquiring about where you get cancer care.

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